After an Angus Reid public opinion poll released Thursday showed a majority of people in Canada (57 per cent) believe cannabis should be legal, the Free Press asked readers for opinions. Here are excerpts:
The only decision? Who do you want to make the money? If you agree criminal organizations should make the money then keep marijuana illegal. If you think that the government should make the money through taxation and distribution, then legalize it and sell it as liquor is sold.
-- Scott G. Miner
Traffic cops need to be able to determine if drivers are over the "legal limit" for marijuana. Until there is testing technology similar to breathalyzers for alcohol, marijuana cannot be legalized.
-- Trevor Jaworski
I'm of the opinion that criminal prosecution of users and those who grow an intoxicant for their own or social use is a waste of public funds, the police and the courts. It's akin to jailing a home brewer or winemaker.
-- Michelle Paquette
If the government sold it like tobacco and alcohol, we wouldn't have to worry about marijuana being laced. As a parent, I would be scared if my future teenage daughter smoked laced weed. Pretty sure government doesn't sell laced alcohol or tobacco.
-- Sylvanna Monias
NO to legalized pot -- I have no problem with its use for medicinal purposes (cancer patients) but have a major concern with general public use. As a former police officer, you have a hard time detecting liquor impairment but at least with tools like the Alert unit, etc., it can be done. With grass, there is no way to detect impairment. You are not born with it in your system, you certainly do not need to take it to survive.
-- Robert Lechow
I personally witnessed it easing the extreme suffering of a cancer-patient friend. I suffer from advanced arthritis and several other painful ailments which I have found eased and much easier to manage after trying marijuana. I asked my doctor to help me get a medical marijuana licence to lower my intake of liver-harming painkillers, and he told me he would "throw my licence in the garbage before prescribing marijuana." Legalizing marijuana is the only way I could access it without being branded a "criminal", "pothead" "druggie" etc.
-- Clarence Davis
Legalizing marijuana would do more good for our society and economy than harm, but I worry about two things: 1) How would you police people driving while high?; 2) Criminal gangs who currently survive off its profits are going to push harder, more addicting drugs or find other illegal ways to keep up their profits and power structure.
-- Donovan Yaciuk
Marijuana should not be legalized. The public views marijuana in a more favourable view than other narcotics, and the reason some people don't use marijuana is that it's illegal and can interfere with the ability to obtain employment if you get caught. In other words, once marijuana becomes legal, I expect its abuse would go up.
-- Curtis Rider
Drinking alcohol is far worse for your health than taking a toke!
Legalization will take the most powerful weapon away from the dealers and put it in control of people who do have our best interest in mind, from a farming industry developing around marijuana creating thousands of jobs, to regulations governing the sale of marijuana to 18 year olds and higher, to taxation which promises to put billions into our economy. Maybe we can even use those billions to combat the sale of hard drugs to our citizens and research a marijuana breathalyzer to prevent intoxicated driving.
-- Christopher Small